The Infectious Disease Research Institute announced on Monday that it received a grant extension of $3.4 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to continue developing treatments for tuberculosis.
IDRI Vice President of Drug Discovery Tanya Parish said the funding will allow the company to continue working with identified compounds.
"To date, we have screened several hundred thousand compounds with our industrial partners, (Lilly TB Drug Discovery Initiative) and Abbvie, and identified a number of promising compound series," Parish said. "The new funding allows us to expand our efforts in exploring these series and others emanating from the (TB Drug Accelerator) for their potential, and we'll be able to expand our chemistry effort, through our long-term partnership with Jubilant Chemsys, which will provide synthetic and medicinal chemistry capabilities to the team. This, in turn, takes us another step closer to IDRI's goal - and that of both the Lilly initiative and TBDA - of developing much-needed new drugs to combat tuberculosis."
Tuberculosis kills approximately 1.5 million people every year. Increasing threats from multi-drug resistant and extremely drug resistant strains illustrate a growing need for more effective, cheaper and faster-acting treatment.
"Tanya and all of the collaborators at IDRI, NIAID, Lilly and the TBDA have been extremely successful at identifying and validating hit structures, including many that resulted from the early screens within the initiative," Distinguished Research Fellow and leader of the Lilly initiative Philip Hipskind said. "We are extremely grateful to the Gates Foundation for recognizing this progress and future potential, and Lilly is proud to be part of this large alliance coming together to address TB, a major global health concern."